Yearling Drinking/Peeing Excessively

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wildoak

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I have a nice yearling colt who started drinking & peeing constantly, several months ago. His condition deteriorated although he seems to feel okay aside from a lack of energy - just not building muscle /tone. Vet pulled blood, found absolutely nothing abnormal and confirmed her opinion that he is a psychogenic drinker, ie. it's just habit, boredom, whatever - no organic reason. I rationed his water as she suggested and kept him on electrolytes. It did seem to help, of course if water's not there to drink he can't overdo. I was gone last weekend and didn't want to risk having someone forget to fill his waterbucket, so I turned the auto waterer back on and let him go at it. My vet may well be right, and that's all there is to it but I'm reluctant to restrict water too much in this heat and I just have a gut feeling I'm missing something with him.

Anyone ever deal with this? Any ideas?

(minimime....he is not restricted this week, and I did put him on smz, will see if that changes anything. How long did it take for you to see a change?)

I have several who are drinking more than usual right now but it's been extremely hot here and I have put it off to that.

Jan
 

Marty

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HI Jan. I have a mare that is very hyper and does that. She'll drink to the cows come home and pee her brains out.

I think she was board so these things helped:

1. I moved her stall to the other side of the barn so she would have new neighbors that keep her amused when stalled; she's inbetween the young fillies now who seem to amuse her. I gave her one of those eatable balls I hung in her stall also. I don't leave it there all the time; just at times when I think she may be getting bored again.

2. I changed her feed! She cannot tollerate the rich food I was feeding which I feel made her "hot". I removed all traces of alfalfa in her diet which I feel is "dry" that makes them need to drink more.

3. I gave her a job! I lunge her a bit and work with her a little on setting up and pivots etc. I swear this one needs to be sent out to a trainer to drive.

She is not drinking like she used to now. It's much more "normal"..........hope these ideas help.
 

Bess Kelly

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What type of hay are you feeding? Friend has a gelding who started this at several yrs of age and it was about 3 yrs after they got him, so nothing else had changed -- stall, routine, pasture mates, etc.

So, I suggested she treat him as a diabetic. We carefully watched amount of fluids given, amount consumed, etc. Switched from orchard to timothy hay, less rich feed and some beet pulp added, so very limited sugar/starch. He turned around remarkedly in about a week to 10 days. It was soooo bad that she was having to remove absolutely saturated woody pet daily. Dripping wet! He's been back to normal now and stays fine with limited grazing and this "diet".

Just a suggestion.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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I agree with the idea it may be diet related. I have seen 2 horses in my area who after being on a pasture high in clover began drinking large amounts of water. The theory I heard put forth was that they were flushing their kidneys. Don't know if this is actually the case but it would seem to make sense.
 

tifflunn

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I have one like that too- nothing like cleaning out a wet stall daily LOL-. I did what Marty did too with the feed and try to keep her next to some exciting stable mates- but her drinking/peeing does seem to increase when she is bored- and it is much less when a group of kids have been here to love her up
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Charlotte

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Jan, it seems we have one or two show horses here each year that do that...when the weather gets hot and miserable. That seems to set it off...the weather and then they just continue to do it. Often they are eating bedding also. So they lose condition and don't look as good as they did previously.

Like Marty, we have found 'boredom abatment' tactics often help. Everything Marty mentioned. A change in routine too. An empty milk jug with a few rocks in it hanging from a rope in the middle of the stall. ... not too pretty, but whatever the horse needs we do.

I'll be interested to see what others suggest. We haven't found feed changes to help any here.

Charlotte
 

Millstone Farm

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i read somewhere that too much protein in the diet of a young horse can trigger it.
 

CyndiD

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i read somewhere that too much protein in the diet of a young horse can trigger it.

I had that in a yearling stallion a few years ago, vet said he thought it was the protein as well...we gave him plain grass hay (not so much alfalfa) and it helped..he didn`t like that kind of hay but he stopped drinking so much and making his stall look like a swamp...
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wildoak

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I agree the boredom factor is something to consider - he has toys he ignores though, he has horses on either side of him to pick on
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and he's out at night/worked several times a week.

I have taken the alfalfa out of his diet. He's on Aussie Logic feed which they say doesn't need alfalfa fed with it. I couldn't quite resist and was feeding a couple of handfuls of TSC's timothy/alfalfa mix daily so we'll see if that makes a difference. I feel like it might be at least partially feed related.

Yes, I know about the saturated Woody Pet......daily!! It's a mess! I have an old nearly 16 hand QH mare who did this when we showed & stalled her, not excitable but just stood and drank.....talk about a mess...
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Thanks for the suggestions - I'm open to ideas, this has gone on too long.

Jan
 

HGFarm

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Test for thyroid. I have a mare here that someone sold to me as a broodmare, but wont settle. Had her tested and she has a terrific thyroid deficiency. She drinks at least TWICE the water that my TWO yearlings consume in a day. (I can monitor because they are seperated) - and she pees a lot. Thyroid can affect developement and condition also- also the hair coat. I am learning more about it than I ever wanted to, believe me.
 

jayne

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Does he have unrestricted use of a salt block? My clydesdale (talk about PEE!!) started just draining his water bucket overnight (like 25 gallons) and emitting the equivalent amount of pee, and needless to say, this fouled his bedding every night as well. I was so worried what might be wrong with him, but after trying lots of the above things listed, remembered that I had put a new salt block in his pasture and he was making WAY too much use of it. Sometimes it's nice to find a simple solution.
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Jayne
 

disneyhorse

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I feel for you, I have the EXACT same thing going on here!

My now-yearling Shetland colt was getting worse last November. My horses are stalled and in shavings, and I was stripping his entire stall daily. Not only was his stall gross and expensive to maintain... he was very bloated all the time, out of condition, and especially lethargic. Overall I considered it unacceptable health!

So, I first figured out exactly how much water he was drinking by shutting off the automatic waterer. He was drinking 9 to 12 gallons per day (this was in the winter time, we don't have extremely cold winters but still, not sweating or anything). I read that the average 1,000 lb horse should drink 12 gallons average... so a 180 pound colt is pretty excessive.

I tried all the "make him less bored" tricks... got a feeder for his hay with VERY small holes, filled his stall with toys (he does LOVE his toys), got a Pony Pop for him, etc. but that didn't deter him. He would guzzle water until he was absolutely bloated.

I had the vet run tests... urine test, then a urine test coupled with a blood test. Nothing pointed to any organ or metabolism problems.

So, the vet said I could safely ration his water. I didn't cut him back ALL the way to where he could have gone down to, but it is rationed back pretty good... he gets two gallons in the morning with his breakfast and two gallons in the evening with his breakfast. This way he has access to water while he's eating to help prevent colic. I do give him all his grain soaked, and when it is extremely hot (over 100 degrees) he can have an extra half gallon or so mid-day to help keep him hydrated. If I could give him smaller rations more often I would, but twice a day when he is fed is the only way I can.

He has been fine like this, he is worked and conditioned just like everyone else. Since he has been rationed, he looks great and he has MORE than enough energy and actually acts like a yearling stallion should!

Every now and again he gets his automatic waterer turned on and he will go right back to drinking all he possibly can. His family does this, so either they learn it from the dam when they are babies or it is something genetic.

My vet said that rationing his water is the healthiest thing for him. Over time they can urinate so much electrolytes out of their system they can crash it. One horse I know of that pees excessively, pees out all of his Potassium so they have to give the horse a postassium supplement every day to try to keep up with replacing it since they don't ration his water.

None of my horses have access to a salt block; my vet does not feel that generally stalled horses need it. He feels only horses out on pasture should have them. I do feed a supplement called Equi-Pride and I think it has salt in it. If you feed any prepared grains or supplements, oftentimes there is enough salt in those already that a horse does not need even more.

I hope any of these experiences can help you... it's not a life-or-death problem but something that can be maintained.

Andrea
 
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wildoak

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Andrea, thank you! I was rationing my colt to 2 gallons during the day, and he goes out at night in a pen with an automatic waterer. It's hot here of course, but he has been draining the daytime bucket by noon or so.....leaving him all afternoon without so I usually end up giving him a little more. And as you said, if I turn the waterer back on he's right back to constant drinking. I'm glad to hear another vet's take on it - I have all the faith in the world in my vet, but still I know opinions can vary. I'm going to give him a few more days on his altered diet but it sounds like I need to go back to rationing. I just worry about someone else forgetting to fill the bucket when I'm gone, will have to hang a big sign on his stall.
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Jan
 

mizbeth

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Hi Jan,

I saw a change/improvment in Melody by the third day. She was on PCN and electrolytes each day. She is still going good. I am also not giving her much alfalfa hay and have her back on low fat diet, but not sure that had anything to do with it. She seems fine now but I do monitor her each day.................

I hope your boy will do well too, I worry so when they are "off".

Beth
 
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barnbum

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The only time I ever noticed it with one horse--was when I had switched to the Platform Mini feed... I took them all off it.
 

HGFarm

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We have never restricted a horses salt intake- they have access 24/7 to big blocks- plain and mineral and they seem to take what they need. If they dont need it, they dont use it. I have purchased horses who really hit the blocks hard for a while- trying to catch up from not having any or not having enough- then they slack off when they get caught up.

What an odd thing- excessive drinking... it is REALLY hot here- running about 112, and of course the horses are drinking way more, but suitable for the weather conditions. I find mine drink about double in the summer what they do in the winter. By restricting too much I would worry that they would eventually dehydrate? You guys dont find that they do?

I would not restrict your horses water though without the ok of the vet and would make sure the thyroid is not out of whack too- as this is a possible symptom of that, and the test is cheap to find out.
 

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